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My daughters love knick knacks, things that lay all over my floors and objects that instantly creep up to clog my vacuum.   But I’ve discovered that these little pieces of annoying plastic toys can be a fun little tool for fake flares, filters or anything else to help adding character to your photographs.


I picked up the yellow princess ornament and threw it in my camera bag, knowing that I would have an assortment of shoots that day.

By placing one of the yellow plastic pedals up against my lens, I was able to create a filter or a faux lens affect to add some character.  By moving it around the front of the lens, I used it to work around and frame my subject as well.

This is an effect you can easily replicate in Photoshop, but sometimes the creative process is half the fun.  So go, get creative and use some random objects lying around your own home to use on your shoots!  And of course, share your process with us on our Photofocus Facebook or Google+ groups.


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Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Excellent post. Thanks for the good photo tips. Going to utilize some of these.

  2. Approximately how big is the yellow flower? hard to tell from the photos. Thanks

  3. Very good idea. whats looks really cool

  4. So clever! Next time I go photograph friends I will bring some little knick knacks. Thanks for the inspiration and idea :)

  5. brilliant !

  6. Very Useful Tips and sites , i will check them all…


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About MelissaNiu

Melissa Niu is a storyteller at heart. Niu's work ranges from her Broadcast Journalism experience at NBC in Seattle to her recent work as a co-founder and host of the photography platform, [FRAMED] Network. Her passion for photography, music and journalistic skills harvests into a massive need to tell a good story. As a mother of three daughters and running multiple businesses, Niu is constantly seeking balance, health, laughter and progression.


Photography, Portrait, Technique & Tutorials, Your Focus